Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life.Viktor Frankl
One of my favorite practices is journaling.
I journal just about every day. The busier you are, the more important it is to push pause and write down how you feel and why you feel that way. The worst thing that can happen to you is the loss of self awareness.
Years ago when training sales professionals I taught the power of self awareness as a model of getting what you want. You probably have some idea as to what you want. Most people are loosely aware of what they want or don’t want.
But why do you want it?
That is a tougher question. The beliefs we have determine the way we feel and you can typically sum up all wants and desires this way: we are trying to create a feeling (see Dr. David Hawkins).
Every activity or desire will reveal that the basic goal is to achieve a certain feeling. There are no other goals than to overcome fear and achieve happiness.David Hawkins, “Letting Go”
To continue on this thought, Hawkins writes: “Emotions are connected with what we believe will ensure our survival, not with what actually will. Emotions themselves are actually the cause of the basic fear that drives everyone to seek security constantly.“
Let me translate:
Most goals (and feelings) are a giant LOOP.
We need stuff to get our identity from, and the stuff we get comes from the level of identity we possess.
We want to get rich because being poor has a higher chance of dying. Nobody wants to die, so let’s get rich. The status also helps — the more money you have the lower the likelihood of being alone (another major fear of human beings). So we get rich and then what?
The loop continues…
We feel exposed because now we are a target. Exposure can also lead to death, therefore we need to regulate back down to what’s comfortable. Nobody consciously says “I need less money,” but our conscious doesn’t run anything.
The subconscious runs it all.
And the belief the subconscious carries says, “You have more than you are capable of protecting, dial it down a bit.”
And it isn’t a choice, by the way — you don’t get to make a choice on this. You are simply a subject of your subconscious beliefs. You cannot “fight” a subconscious belief, you can only replace it — and that only happens if you’re aware of it in the first place.
Round and round this merry-go-round will take you; unless you ascend up to the level of “WHY.”
The person who can answer “WHY” they want what they want will always have an advantage over the person who can only answer “WHAT” they want. It’s also important to notice that the “why” part doesn’t need to make any sense, we just need to be aware of it.
- I want a plane — great, WHY?
- Because I want to take friends on trips with me — great, WHY?
- Because then my friends will want to go on trips with me — great, WHY?
- Because I didn’t have friends growing up and I want them now — got it…
It doesn’t exactly matter what the “why” is, it simply matters that you get to it.
Because once you get to it, you will not be blindsided by the emotion that comes as a result. People go through these yo-yos all the time… sometimes running through their entire lives without ever figuring out what is driving them.
Most of the ups and downs are somewhat avoidable if we paused and through about the why behind the what.
The fastest way to get what you want is being honest about why you want it.
Here are a few of mine to get you going:
- I want to make a lot of money because it is a linchpin for change, and I trust myself to instigate change
- My wife stuck with me when I was broke and had nothing, she deserves to have whatever she wants now
- The most lasting form of education isn’t reading from a script, it’s showing them what’s possible — this requires having a life people WANT to have and model
- Education in America is broken, and the only people who can fix it are the ones with money
- Money is fun – just like electricity or the internet; nobody wants internet because they’re afraid of being stranded, it’s just nice to have and helps you do things so might as well have a lot of it
- My mind feels better when I know the rules; one of the rules of value transfer is it’s “scored” or allocated through money; if you’re broke (except for rare circumstances) it usually means you’re not providing value
Speaking of value transfer, here’s a quote to end us:
“You create money by increasing your value inside yourself. You then experience money by exchanging the value you have built in you. Exchange it with others by providing services, goods, and money to others in exchange for their services, goods, and money.”David Gikandi
Go get rich — but know why you’re doing it.
In this game of money, wealth & power, the end never justifies the means. You must know why you want what you want and then orchestrate your life to get it the right way.
And surprise: most of the time, when you know why, you can find a thousand different ways to get it without harming or complicating your life in the process.